Skip to main content

Social Sciences News

Identity-based motivation helps students see their difficulties with school as signs that schoolwork is important, which in turn can improve academic performance, according to USC Dornsife researchers.

Digital game aims to motivate students

January 22, 2016

A USC professor’s program to motivate children to achieve success in school and at work will soon be translated into a digital game to help more students succeed academically. USC Dean’s Professor of Psychology…

Matthew Kahn is currently a visiting professor of economics and spatial sciences at USC Dornsife but will come onboard full-time in August 2016. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kahn.

New faculty member brings passion for environmental economics

January 21, 2016

When Matthew Kahn was nine years old, in the early 1970s, he wrote a letter to then-President Gerald Ford to inquire about the details of Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now” economic program. “At a very young…

Mark Kann, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History, and Associates Chair Emeritus in Social Science, pictured in 1998. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Mark Kann, 68

January 20, 2016

Mark Kann, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History and Associates Chair Emeritus in Social Science at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 68. Kann died of causes related to multiple myeloma on Jan. 5 at his home in San…

Frontline Scholar: Austin

Frontline Scholar: Austin

January 19, 2016

This first video in our Frontline Scholars series profiles Austin Reagan ’16, a double major in environmental studies and political science. Building on a family tradition of global consciousness and the opportunities…

Herzliya is located on the central coast of Israel, one of the world's most rapidly aging nations.

Psychology’s Mara Mather to teach course in new partnership with Israeli institute

January 6, 2016

Come spring, students will have an opportunity to study gerontology subjects in the home of one of the world’s most rapidly aging populations: Israel. Professor Mara Mather, who holds joint appointments at USC Dornsife…

Our Top 10 stories from 2015

Our Top 10 stories from 2015

December 29, 2015

   10 — A rescue mission Alumnus Jamie Brisbin, a participant in the USC Wrigley Institute’s “Catalina Semester” program, today works as a pararescueman for the U.S. Air Force Special…

Psychologists say that making resolutions can be helpful, but caution people to think carefully before deciding exactly what their goals will be.

Self-control expert offers 6 tips for creating successful New Year’s resolutions

December 28, 2015

Unfortunately, USC Dornsife researchers have not unlocked the key to keeping you from sleeping through your 5 a.m. spin class or avoiding the 4 p.m. trip to the vending machine. But John Monterosso, an expert on the…

According to political experts, clicking “like” and signing online petitions will not supplant showing up in efforts to address issues such as gay rights and gun control.

Is the Internet fueling social change or giving license to engage in lazy activism?

December 22, 2015

In 2011, political uprisings were rampant throughout the world — from the Arab Spring that started in Tunisia and swept through more than 15 other Arab countries — to Occupy Wall Street protesters huddled in New…

Anxiety raises risk of dementia, psychology researchers find

Anxiety raises risk of dementia, psychology researchers find

December 22, 2015

People who experienced high anxiety any time in their lives had a 48 percent higher risk of developing dementia compared to those who had not, according to a new study led by USC researchers. The findings were based on an…

Alarming or exciting moments are known as “emotionally arousing” events, and they can enhance or hinder our ability to make memories.

Why we remember — or forget — details of alarming moments

December 16, 2015

When someone walks down the street and is startled by a car accident, what determines whether they clearly remember the details of what they were doing prior to the crash? Paradoxically, such alarming or exciting moments…